To boost agricultural production and farmer incomes through improved irrigation management, the National Irrigation Development Project has been allotted $388 million to undertake a number of critical activities this fiscal year.
This is contained in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure now before the House of Representatives.
Among the activities to be undertaken is the installation of pipes, fitting and appurtenances for four wells in New Forest/Duff House and two in Yallahs, which have already been drilled and tested.
Also to be completed, is the installation of pumps and switchgears at New Forest, while pumps and switchgears for the Yallahs Irrigation System will be procured and installed. Three Water User Associations (WUA) will be further strengthened, and training provided for farmers in the irrigation development areas.
Implemented in May 2005, the project is being undertaken by the National Irrigation Commission through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank.
Up to February 2012, pipes, fittings and appurtenance were procured and installed in Colbeck; the Customer Relationship Management System (CRMS) was upgraded; a land audit in Yallahs and New Forest/Duff House completed; and work was advanced on the construction of WUAs offices in Colbeck and Yallahs.
Also, the project has been carrying out land regulations in Yallahs, and New Forest/Duff House and Colbeck, and cadastral mapping of Yallahs and New Forest/Duff House has been completed. This is in addition to the completion of the construction of a pump house and installation of pump at Colbeck, and the commissioning of the irrigation system. A contract has also been signed with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to provide farmer training and other extension services.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter